A leaked map from the upcoming blockbuster Grand Theft Auto V, believed to be the most expensive video game ever made, further confirms that the game will feature a mock version of the Palm Springs tram.
Although the game does not release until next Tuesday, Sept. 17, a scanned copy of the game’s map has leaked on Reddit, according to IGN.com, a video game news website. The map is part of a GTA V game guide, presumably sold to prematurely to a customer, IGN reported. The image has since been removed from Reddit, but it is pasted below.
A careful study of the map reveals a straight red line running from the seaside city of Paleto Bay to the peak of Mount Chiliad, the game’s highest point.The line is too straight and too steep to be a highway or a railroad line. It is most likely the “Pala Springs Aerial Tramway,” a pastiche of the Palm Springs landmark, previously hinted to appear in the game.
GTA V is the latest installment of the Grand Theft Auto series, which presents gamers unprecedented freedom in an open, digital world that parodies real locations. GTA V is set in Los Santos, a mock version of Los Angeles, but also includes some of the surrounding region of San Andreas, a version of southern California.
GTA V has recently gotten buzz for its rumored pricetag — about $266 million — which would make it the most expensive video game ever made. This figure was first reported The Scotsman, a Scottish newspaper, but has since cycled through just about every video game news site on the internet. It was also re-published by The Huffington Post.
For months, I’ve theorized that Palm Springs, or some version of it, would appear in GTA V. The first clues were hidden in the game trailers, which featured familiar landscapes and landmarks.
Check out the composite images below, comparing the GTA V footage to real photographs.
The next clue came in August, when Rockstar Games, the company behind GTA V, released another batch of promotional images. To tease the variety of activities in the game, the company released a photo of in-game travel brochures, advertising everything from hiking to golf to scuba diving.
One of the brochures, pictured to the right, advertised the “Pala Springs Aerial Tramway,” a not-so-subtle recreation of the real Palm Springs tram.
Now the leaked map appears to give the tramway a location — in the games northwest edge, stretching from the seaside to the mountain side. It is important to note however, that the leaked map doesn’t actually place the town of Pala Springs anywhere in the game. It is possible that the tram will make an appearance, but no parody of the city of Palm Springs will be included.
GTA V launches in less than a week, so we won’t have to wait long to find out.